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Tight Ends Worth Reaching For in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts

Tight Ends Worth Reaching For
by Alan Seslowsky – Twitter: @Alanseslowsky

RosterWatch’s signature tool, the ultimate draft cheat sheet, is crafted to help you leverage against the average draft position. It is not a traditional ranking list. Following the three simple rules on the cheat sheet guarantees you an expert quality draft. There are times RosterWatch can endorse reaching ahead of ADP if you believe that a player has the upside to win you a fantasy football league. If you can see a plausible case that a player with an ADP outside of the top 24 can out[perform their average draft position; he may be worth “reaching” for. Below are three Tight Ends RosterWatch believes could have league-winning upside.

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (ADP 47, TE4)

Pitts is going to be the biggest reveal of the fantasy football season in 2021. He has been slapped with the “generational prospect” label and all of the responsibility that comes with it. It has been well documented that rookie tight ends take a couple of years to acclimate to NFL-level football. Mostly since they have to learn two positions at once. Typical tight ends have to learn in-line blocking like a traditional lineman and route running like a wide receiver. If Pitts is truly a general prospect then the previous rules and narratives about tight ends should not apply. There is a good chance that Pitts does not deliver on his ADP. If he does hit, you may have yourself an easy walk into your fantasy playoffs. He is worth jumping up a round to draft if you are ok with the significant risk he comes with. 


Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings  (ADP 130, TE13)

Irv Smith is entering his third NFL season, typical for positional breakouts. Irv Smith has flashed in the NFL before but just has not had the opportunities we had hoped for in his first two seasons. By all reports he has had a fantastic training camp and is in elite athletic physical condition. The Vikings have a top 12 NFL passing offense, and a narrow passing tree. Justin Jefferson, Adam Theilen, and Dalvin Cook will get their allocated target share, but after that, it’s all Irv Smith. Irv has a clear path to 100 targets and should be used proactively in the red zone. Smith’s 10th round ADP is more than fair. RosterWatch is comfortable jumping up into the ninth round to secure Irv Smith. 


Tyler Higbee, L.A. Rams (ADP 110, TE11)

RosterWatch co-founder Byron Lambert spent a few days at Ram’s training camp in August. One glimpse at Higbee prompted Lambert to post this tweet praising Higbee. Fantasy players can’t forget the epic stretch of games in 2019 when Tyler Higbee led you to a fantasy championship. Higbee did have a disappointing 2020, but his ADP this season bakes in all of the risks, and then some. Former Rams tight end Gerald Everett left in free agency, leaving Tyler Higbee as an every-down player. Higbee’s ADP is around the 9/10 turn. He represents the last of the TEs who are lock and load every week starters. It is ok to reach into the late eighth round if you believe in his opportunity and talent. 


  1. Hey guys! I’m a pro member and love the content! I was wondering if you could weigh in on a keeper dilemma I have. This is a 14 team PPR. My best 3 options are to keep Cook in the 1st, Lamb in the 5th, or Claypool in the 16th. I won the league last year but did draw the 6th draft position this season, so cook would cost me that pick. I know for certain these top RBs are going back into the pool; CMC, Chubb, Zeke, Kamara, Barkley, Henry, and Aaron Jones. Lamb is a no brainer, but do I pair him with Cook, or do I take one of these other top backs and pair him with the awesome value with Claypool? Whomever I choose I can keep for 3 seasons. Thanks for the help!

    1. Post By Alan Seslowsky

      Though Cook is hard to throw back, the value on Claypool is too juiy. You will still get a nice RB at 1.6

      1. Thanks for the input!

  2. Post By Baron VonIronCock

    Baron Vonironcock here, golden son .

    What are your other options to keep? If u dont keep dalvin?

    Cause if u can draft chubb and get to keep another good player later id prefer that.

    Depending on the player.

    And u say keep for 3 yrs , thats at a 1st round value every year right?

    1. Round value will increase 1 round each season. Cook for a 1, Ceedee Lamb for a 5, and Chase Claypool for a 16 are my best options. And I can keep 2 of them.

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